U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide additional assistance through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), expanding eligibility for some agricultural producers and commodities as well as updating payments to accurately compensate some producers who already applied for the program. Some of these changes are being made to align with the recently enacted Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 while others are discretionary changes being made in response to ongoing evaluation of CFAP.

Contract producers of swine, broilers, laying hens, chicken eggs and turkeys who suffered a drop in revenue in 2020 as compared to their 2019 revenue because of the pandemic now are eligible for assistance. Producers could receive up to 80 percent of their revenue loss, subject to the availability of funds.

Producers of pullets and turfgrass sod also now are eligible for CFAP payments. The commodities were not explicitly included in the initial CFAP 2 rule. Payments are based on eligible sales, and the payment calculation in the updated rule includes crop insurance indemnities, Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, and Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program – Plus payments.

Similarly, FSA adjusted the payment calculation to use the producer’s eligible 2019 calendar year sales, and 2019 crop insurance indemnities, NAP, and WHIP+ payments, multiplied by the applicable payment rate for all sales commodities, which include specialty crops, aquaculture, tobacco, specialty livestock, nursery crops and floriculture, for CFAP 2. Producers who applied during the sign-up period that closed Dec. 11, 2020, can modify an existing CFAP 2 application by Feb. 26.

Additionally, FSA adjusted the payment calculation for certain row crops for CFAP 2, specifically those for which a producer had crop insurance coverage but not an available 2020 Actual Production History approved yield. FSA is now using 100 percent of the 2019 Agriculture Risk Coverage-County Option benchmark yield to calculate payments when an APH is not available rather than 85 percent, which was in the original CFAP 2 calculations. This calculation change is only for producers with crop insurance coverage who grow barley, corn, sorghum, soybeans, sunflowers, upland cotton and wheat. Producers who applied during the sign-up period that closed Dec. 11, 2020, can modify an existing CFAP 2 application.

FSA is providing an additional CFAP 1 inventory payment for swine to help producers who face continuing market disruptions from changes in U.S. meat consumption due to the pandemic. Swine producers with approved CFAP 1 applications will soon automatically receive a “top-up” payment of $17 per head increasing the total CFAP1 inventory payment to $34 per head.

Newly eligible producers who need to submit a CFAP 2 application, or producers who need to modify an existing one can do so by Feb. 26. New applicants can also obtain one-on-one support with applications by calling (877) 508-8364.

This article was submitted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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